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Gerald Monroe Saunders (16 October 1906 - 3 July 1984) was a United States politician and diplomat who served as the enormously influential Secretary of State from 1965 to 1973. Saunders was a career State Department official who served in the Bush administration, as the Ambassador to France in the 1950's and as the Deputy Secretary of State in the Hoover State Department prior to succeeding his boss with the inauguration of Dick Van Dyke.
As Secretary of State, Saunders was one of the formulators of the Van Dyke Doctrine and supported the expansion of the State Department's role in the Cold War and in the mass nuclearization of the United States, foreign intervention, CIA-funded coups of French-backed governments and was one of the architects of the foundation of NATO. While credited with helping accelerate America's foreign presence and bring the United States up to par with the French Empire during the 1960's in terms of advanced weaponry, international influence and military expenditures, he is also derided for being the man responsible for the Ceylon conflict and is infamous abroad for his unrelenting endorsement of the overthrow of unfriendly regimes (in particular backing the reabsorption of Balkan states by Turkey).